Goats on the run (9): Poole Festival of Running special

Last weekend, Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd June, saw the Poole Festival of Running take place on the Dorset coast – and the number of Lonely Goats who took part was incredible!

Ordinarily, in goats on the run we tend not to focus on just the one event, as we like to shine the spotlight on runners from all over the place. Lonely Goat Running Club is for all runners, regardless of whether they live in Aberdeen or Zennor, Austria or Zimbabwe, or anywhere in between.

But sometimes the concentration of Lonely Goats in one place is so great that we can’t help but focus on it. That’s what happened in Poole over the weekend.

Nicholas Bowles

Poole Festival of Running

Now in its 38th year, the Poole Festival of Running consists of four events held over two days. There is a series of ‘minithons’ for children on the Saturday afternoon, plus a 5K in the afternoon that raised money for the Poole Hospital Charity.

On the Sunday, runners had the choice of a 10K or Half Marathon event. Both took place on fast, flat, fully-marshalled courses with closed roads, promising harbourside views.

Its a popular weekend of running with a great atmosphere, so it makes sense that lots of Lonely Goats would choose to enter. However, the sheer number of Lonely Goats was still a very pleasant surprise.

Lonely Goat RC does Poole

There are too many to mention, and a very good chance that we’ll end up missing some names off, so we won’t list all of the Lonely Goats at Poole. However, a few of you have posted about your experiences in our Facebook Chat Group, so we will share some of those stories here.

Michael Dobson (who ran the Half Marathon as part of his 52 in 52 for Macmillan Cancer Support challenge)

“So, probably one of many posts about the Poole Half Marathon/10K, but the herd truly was MASSIVE today. It seemed like every other runner was a Goat and even Goat supporters everywhere too. It was amazing to meet everyone and I hope you all had a great race.

I got a bit caught up with the fast 10K runners and found myself going out very fast. Once at that speed I struggle to slow down, so I completed half #23 in 17th place with a time of 1:28’09”; by far the quickest of the year so far. A little stupid considering I have a double weekend next week, but quite strange after feeling like I hadn’t fully recovered from last week’s hilly half. Anyway, that’s another half done and only 29 to go.”

Gilly Salmoni and Katryne Cook

Jenni Maidment (who was part of the Lonely Goat cheering squad)

“I went down to watch the Poole festival of running 10K and half marathon this morning. I’m sure from all the Goat t-shirts and vests we must have been the biggest club there! Saw lots of Goat leggings – looking fabulous ladies. Even saw a young yellow Goat with his purple Goat mum – very good young sir.

But, the point of my post is this: I stood next to a gentleman for over an hour today who’s support was amazing. He shouted everyone in and even did the goat hand signal to give out goat powered high fives! He was the most amazing man and I know if I’d been running I’d have loved to have seen him at the finish.

Every Goat got a shout out from him and that’s what it’s all about in this group. We may not run together but we support each other no matter how fast or slow.”

Nicky Maidment

“Today I completed the Poole Festival of Running Half Marathon. There was so many goats either running or cheering. It made for a great atmosphere. What struck me as I was running around the course on my own was that people (who aren’t Goats) were shouting ‘go Lonely Goat’. It made me realise that I belong to something and have an identity when running.

What a privilege it is to wear the (blue) badge and have people shouting out the Goat name along the way.”

Helen Okoth

“Completed my first event as a Lonely Goat yesterday – the Poole Festival of Running 10K. Just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to all the other Goats for your wonderful support. It felt so good being a part of this awesome community, I shaved almost a minute off my 10K PB and I absolutely LOVED it! Thank you!”

Richard Norman

Amy Walker-Weston

“Wore my new Goat top; so glad I did. I’ve never had so much support/cheers/encouragement! This group doesn’t care about speed or shape, just that you are out running and I love that. Thanks to everyone that shouted out; I wasn’t such a Lonely Goat!”

James Whitehurst

“Wow! Did it; took 5 mins off my 10km PB – down from 59’45 to 54’48. 150 miles and 8 weeks of training was worth it; almost had a little cry at the finish. Amazing event, such incredible support from the other Goats (even the pink ones overtaking me).”

And a few others

Nicholas Bowles – “Well I think it’s safe to say goats took over Poole 5K,10K and half runs at the weekend.”

Rob Hart – “What a great 10K at Poole Festival of Running. Lots of Goats cheering fellow herd members on, gave me a real boost!”

Anna Jones – “Great morning at PFOR 10k. Brilliant to see so many fellow goats both running and cheering us on thank you.
I even managed a new PB which I’m still in shock with.”

Ian Pitcher – “1:05:20 in my first 10K at Poole. To say I am well chuffed is an understatement. Thanks to all the Goat support along the way.”

Samantha Williams

Chris Ruck – “Well chuffed. 2 hours, 2 minutes [for the half marathon]. Great to see you other goats and all the support of the spectating goats.”

Gilly Salmoni – “Seeing so many goats was great, friendly and motivating.”

Andy Shawyer – “The cheering was brilliant.”

Carolyn Sherlock – “Thank you to all the goats who shouted at me, high-fived me and encouraged me round my first half marathon in Poole this morning. The support was amazing and well done to all goats who took part.”

And last, but by no means least, we would like to give a massive thank you to Paul Noble who took the photos in this article showing Lonely Goats doing their sprint finishes.

Community spirit

What is so much more impressive than the number of Goats at Poole, was the community spirit experienced. Whether running or spectating, so many people were cheering and supporting their fellow Goats. It goes to show that just because we’re Lonely Goats doesn’t mean that we’re alone.

Until next time

That’s it for this special Poole Festival of Running edition of goats on the run. Congratulations to all the runners mentioned, plus the many, many more we missed.

As always, if you’ve achieved something in your running that you’re particularly proud of – completing an event or otherwise – feel free to let us know about it in the Facebook Chat Group or use the #lonelygoatrc and #lonelygoatrunningclub hashtags on Instagram.

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